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My All-Time Favourite Dress Trend Is Back for Another Year

My love for denim dresses started back in 2009 thanks to Stella McCartney's S/S 10 collection. The British designer had created a button-down summer dress in a light-wash jean fabric and a skirt in the same finish and waist-nipping fit. I fell for them both—hard. I was just starting out as a fashion assistant and had a chance to wear a sample of the skirt for a shoot, but alas, it was a fleeting moment, and I could not afford to keep it in my wardrobe.

best denim dresses: button-down Stella McCartney spring 2010 dress

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Stella McCartney Spring 2010

However, I knew, deep down, that I'd be able to find a good iteration from one of the many East London vintage stores I used to frequent of a weekend. And that made total sense because McCartney did, indeed, base these styles upon denim pieces her mother Linda had worn in the '70s. 

best denim dresses: Madelynn Furlong wearing a short denim dress with snake boots

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Influencer Madelynn Furlong in February 2020, Paris

It's been happening for some time now, but designers can't resist the allure of this humble blue fabric—it instantly brings modernity and ease to more elevated creations. And when it comes to producing comfortable, easy-to-throw-on dresses for spring and summer, a denim option is second to none. 

best denim dresses: Lois Opoku wearing a denim mini dress

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Influencer Lois Opoku in August 2020, Copenhagen

This is a dress style that has genuinely shifted from trend to classic over time, and in the decade since I first cottoned onto its powers, I've bought different versions from charity stores (heads up: they were also very present in the '90s, so there are plenty to choose from this era), M.i.h Jeans and Reiss. No matter what style you go for, whether retro shirt-waister or short, minimal, and strappy, you'll find that your chosen denim dress simply won't date.

Sarah Jane Bea Wearing a Vintage Laura Ashley Dress

Interestingly, for spring 2021, the options appear to be endless, despite the fact that this enduring item isn't an obvious part of the season's top-line trends. Perhaps its innate combination of practicality and sass puts it in a prime position to win when many day-to-day schedules now centre around being comfortable but smart and many wardrobes are leaning to well-curated, hard-working staples.

best denim dresses: Alexander McQueen spring 2021

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Courtesy of Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen Spring 2021

Alexander McQueen's glorious, full-skirted, and bodiced style leads the way for a very luxe take on the idea—the more fabric the better. But in other corners of the retail world, you'll find that skimpy is the word—high-neck and long-sleeve styles do look very cute with mini hemlines. 

best denim dresses: blue denim shirt dress

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A Paris Fashion Week Guest, February 2020

Zara has a new-in piece that looks straight out of the '70s, while our team has collectively agreed that Gabriela Hearst's versions are the very ultimate high-end purchase. Me? I'll most likely track down a thrifted button-down on Etsy until I can get my hands on that OG Stella…

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